I have been using Websense to filter web content for our employees which prevents inappropriate content, spyware and more. It’s time to renew again and my representative assured me that we would receive a great price, especially considering we are looking at alternatives.
Websense Web Filtering Software
I just received that quote and it came back at $8,750 for 250 users! Up from $5,750 for last year. That is TOO much to pay for an organizational web filter, especially considering that initially you had to buy a server and SQL! Needless to say, I set out to find a better solution – and here are my results.
Update: After my rep sent me the quote for $8,750, another came in an hour later for $9,250. After asking why the change, I was told that they were having quoting problems and that the $9,250 is for three years of service, not one but that the system failed to mention that. End result: Websense quote was same as last year, $5,750 per year.
OpenDNS Web Filter
I considered OpenDNS, which requires you only point the computer’s DNS records to their IP address. However, all 250 employees hit the net with a single IP making individual tracking very difficult. Some of our employees require more flexibility when surfing the web than others which OpenDNS addressed with a ‘bypass password’, however, requiring each of those employees to enter a password is not practical.
For 250 users, this solution would have cost me $3,125/year – I could have also received a discount of 10% off on 2 year term and 20% off on 3 year term. I should mention that OpenDNS is awesome for home use as a way to protect your child from being exposed to inappropriate material, and best of all, it’s free!
Barracuda’s Web Filter
Enter the Barracuda Web Filter, a rock solid product (I use they email filter) that costs $4,844 for the appliance and $800 per year for renewal. That is a FANTASTIC savings when you consider the pricing of web filters mentioned above are NOT one time fees but fees that you have to pay every year!
With Barracuda, I’m able to eliminate a proxy server, SQL license and have all the reporting and user control I need!
Here is the breakdown for yearly maintenance:
Websense: $5,750 per year and every year after that (doesn’t include server or sql).
OpenDNS: $3,125 per year and every year after that (no hardware required)
Barracuda: $4,800 first year, $800 every year after that (hardware included).
or put another way:
Over 5 years of yearly maintenance, our total cost would be:
Websense web filtering would cost me at least $28,750
OpenDNS would cost me at least $15,625
Barracuda Web Filter would cost at least $8,000
The choice is clear, Barracuda is the most cost effective solution!
I should mention that OpenDNS has such an opportunity here! If they get the reporting of internal users and IP’s down, offered the product for the same price as Barracuda’s maintenance plan, offer floating policies for laptops, etc topped with no real maintenance or storage, I don’t think there is one organization that wouldn’t jump on the bandwagon. Just my two cents…